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I struggled with this for many years. I had built up a coping strategy (which I realised later was a coping strategy) to finish attention sensitive bits of my work early morning or late night (in the office or at home) when no one, or relatively fewer people, were around. It works to this day.
I also second the use of headphones with white noise loops. If you can afford them, try getting noise cancelling headphones or earbuds. Sometimes just putting them on (without music) is good enough to muffle conversation and that works for me occasionally.
I’ve also realised open plan offices can be a nightmare with the sensory overload they offer. I notice everything around me (I notice the noise certainly – the noise of crisps packets being opened, the printer whirring, etc.. but visual distractions can also just derail my thoughts – an approaching person, their footsteps, their clothes, clutter on people’s desks, .. I’m just turning my head all day and looking around – without meaning to). When I need to really focus on getting stuff done, I try to use an empty meeting room and face the wall, or try to sit in one of the corner desks facing the corner so I can tune out all the visual signals.
HTH and good luck. Life is hard.
- This reply was modified 8 months ago by addy.